This is not about me and my brother

(Yesterday, right in the midst of posting about FG’s birthday, I started watching the news and wondered whether it was even appropriate to note the day as a happy one around here. I went ahead because life goes ahead but all day I was mindful of the pain and suffering elsewhere. In the middle of the day I wrote the little bit below and then pulled it because it is nothing more than a small observation. Today, the blog community will be full of more thoughtful, more politically savvy posts attempting to wade through this complex puzzle. For me it’s hard to find a voice that fits into that puzzle and I don’t feel compelled to because everything seems to fall woefully short. It’s difficult to write a post that encompasses so much rage and sorrow.  But Bonnie covered it well in eleven words. Chris also has an eloquent post that speaks to some of the pieces I was thinking about. Tell me where you found someone who gave voice to the subject in a way that makes sense to you; please share the link in the comments below.) 

When I was six and my brother, Bruce, was eight, terrorism reigned. I was so powerless and in need of a hero that he could do just about anything and I would follow and comply. He got me to eat a dried up earthworm saying it was whole wheat macaroni while he and his friends watched and laughed. Even though I knew it was a worm. He talked me into sticking my tongue on the frozen bar of the school door. I followed along eagerly with a plan to stuff a litter of kittens into the tunnel and turn on the Lionel train full speed.

When I was seven I was stronger in all respects. I was learning right from wrong. I had some freedom and autonomy and friends of my own. My brother and I became equals and friends. Because I had a smidgen of power and control over my own life the reign of terror ended.

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11 responses to “This is not about me and my brother

  1. Oh my! I never had a brother but always wanted one. Maybe I was blessed to NOT have one…… 🙂

  2. Well, I don’t have any links to pass along, but here are my bleeding-heart comments:

    I’m sick of this “war on terror.” Isn’t that like a war on social injustice or discrimination? Aren’t we fighting a war against an administration prescribed ideal? Gimme a break. Violence begets violence, and, once again, innocent people have paid dearly. Why not provide education, food, and medicine? I know. I know. It’s not that simple. However, this war is not the answer. We are not safer because of it. We are continuing to make enemies.

    Ok. Sorry for the rant. I had planned on just commenting on how terribly sad I am and how my thoughts are in Britain. Instead, I ended up spewing about my irritation and frustration. I’m just so sad, and angry, and disturbed about the recent events that I can barely stand it.

  3. Vicki, I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Chris’s intelligent, mindful and poignant essay.

    I am feeling less angry than defeated…….

  4. I thought my brother was the smartest person in the world (he’s 7 years older than I am) until I found out he wasn’t the only person who could read.

  5. I don’t have any links either, but sounds a little bit like you had a “typical” brother. I mean, no my brother never did any of that to me. I dont remember my brother doing anything to me at all except get really really really really angry with me. We were always fighting. But all my friends had brothers who made terrorized them in front of others. I guess its just a part of growing up. I bet you learned alot about yourself if you think back to it.

  6. Let’s hope our country can follow that example ;0) Nice post Vicki.

  7. Let’s hope our country can follow that example ;0) Nice post Vicki.

  8. I don’t know. Chris’s post didn’t really do anything for me. I think that your analogy about the strength that comes with righteous empowerment is much more apt than his argument, which seemed to be the liberal version of the knee-jerk reaction that he complained about.

    I don’t think that there are any easy answers here. Yes, I agree that Bush is an unbelievable screw-up and has made some terrible mistakes in his response to 9/11. (Not Afghanistan. Toppling the Taliban was the right thing to do, in my opinion.) But I also think that the Al Qaeda, and the terrorist groups that fall under their umbrella, represent an evil, (yes, evil) movement of people who seek to subjugate women, force an extremist version of religion on others, and withhold basic human rights where ever they can.

    Yes, I know, the clichés about defending democracy against evil forces get a little old and tired. But we’re not all Winston Churchill. Most of us are less than eloquent.

    Are there flaws in our foreign policy and in our judgment and in who we decide to support in this world? Of course. Does that mean that we somehow deserve it when terrorists bomb subways and kill innocent people? Not in my opinion.

    Of course we should seek out the “why?” in all this, as Chris suggests. And God knows I’m all about the humanitarian aid to poor countries. But as I have already said, I just don’t think that there are any simple answers here. It seems as though sometimes, violence in response to violence (as in the case of Afghanistan) is inevitable.

    In any case, this is all very unsettling and sad.

    Sorry, I know this is way too long.

  9. The good Doctors are connecting the dots regarding the latest hideous atrocity and linking to other sites which also clarify what has happened, is happening, and what will happen next if we don’t come to grips with reality and the world’s evildoers.

  10. I don’t have any links or even any insight except to say I read this post yesterday when it was all by itself, and I liked it just fine. I was reminded of my own brother and the way he used to hold me down, smear butter on my face, and then call the dogs to come lick it off. Bastard.

  11. Chris’s post was the best post on the London attack that I’ve seen ANYWHERE.

    He has a new fan.

    However, I loved the metaphor – very apt. What the “blow shit up” people don’t understand (and have never understood over countless millenia) is that violence gets perpetuated.

    Maybe that’s what that crowd really desires – perpetual strife. Like any psychopathology, it’s all they know and all the only thing that gives them comfort.

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